Having staked their claim as early title favourites with an outstanding first half of the season, some poor results to finish the year saw Mounties bow out of the finals in a week one loss to the Wentworthville Magpies.
Mounties were tough to contain for opposition defences from the opening whistle of 2019 - losing just one of their first nine matches with an average of 32.8 points per game, but ending the season at 6th position and missing the top-four would prove decisive in a short-lived finals campaign.
However, some of the big names who helped the Mounties to top spot after 11 rounds, including Aidan Sezer, Bailey Simonsson, Emre Guler and Hudson Young, were all key contributors in the back half of the year to a first-grade Raiders squad who made their first NRL Grand Final appearance in 25 years.
The success of many star performers at the elite level reinforces what was another solid campaign for Mounties, and it can only mean well for the upcoming season.
Their highlight moment
Round 4 v Western Suburbs Magpies - 52-6 W
2019’s best performance by the Mounties came in Round 4 in front a home crowd at Aubrey Keech Reserve, posting a huge score on the way to a 52-6 win against Western Suburbs.
Not only was the victory unrivaled as the Mounties’ strongest showing of attacking prowess, but it was also their best defensive effort of the season to only concede one four-pointer after 70 minutes of play.
It was also a breakout performance for eventual Canberra Raiders Rookie of the Year Bailey Simonsson, who crossed the line four times in the 46-point rout. Winger Andre Niko also starred with two tries of his own and 8/9 off the boot for a personal tally of 24 points.
Simply their best
Tony Satini did not miss game in 2019, playing 23 consecutive matches for the Mounties, but his solid form stayed true throughout the season as one of the premier outside backs in the competition.
A key member of the second-best offensive team in the competition (584 points scored), Satini led an incredibly competitive backline with great finishers from jerseys 1-5, and it was him who stood out in a dangerous attacking outfit.
In a memorable 2019 season, Satini produced 13 tries (5th), six try-assists, 15 line-breaks (3rd), 69 tackle-breaks and 2746 run metres (9th) including 946 post-contact.
Room for improvement
The Mounties have now finished in 6th spot on the ladder for consecutive season and they will aim to earn an elusive top-four spot next season to go one step further in finals.
Although the Mounties have shown their ability in the last two years to produce long winning runs, most of those victories have come at the beginning of the season.
Building momentum at the end of the year is vital to a strong playoffs campaign, and if the Mounties maintain the form we know they are capable into the final rounds of 2020, they will be a difficult team to stop.
Soward's season grading
I thought they fell away quite dramatically towards the end and then drizzled out after a good start which saw them remain undefeated until Round 7.
Although I didn't have great expectations for them, they certainly missed a golden opportunity to do something special after their effort at the start of the year.
This season grading is the opinion of Jamie Soward, based purely on performance factors throughout the 2019 season, and does not nessecarily reflect the views of NSWRL.